Peter Dinklage shares his thoughts on why so many people hated Game of Thrones‘ ending. The American actor starred in all 8 seasons of HBO’s celebrated fantasy series as Tyrion Lannister, a cunning yet good-hearted lord who often uses his wit and intelligence to stave off the prejudice he faces as a dwarf. Tyrion is the youngest child of the wealthy and ruthless Lord Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance), and brother of twins Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). After being falsely accused of killing his nephew King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), Tyrion flees to Essos to be Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) Hand of the Queen.
After 7 seasons of unparalleled success, the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones failed to satisfy many fans, with many of them wishing their favorite characters’ arcs culminated a bit differently, or thought they were rushed. Others argued that showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss did not know what direction to take the story after the show passed George R.R. Martin’s books chronologically. Whatever the reason may be, the final season caused a vitriolic reaction amongst the fanbase, even prompting a popular petition demanding Game of Thrones season 8 be remade with new writers. Now, one of the show’s most prominent stars is sharing his opinion on audiences’ reaction to the ending.
In a recent interview with The New York Times promoting his new movie Cyrano, Dinklage says there was backlash to the final season for the simple fact that the beloved HBO show was finally ending and people “didn’t know what to do with their Sunday nights anymore.” Though the Emmy Award-winning actor also revealed a deeper reason than that, as he believes viewers were expecting “the pretty white people to ride off into the sunset together” and were upset they didn’t get that ending. Read what Dinklage had to say below:\
I think the reason there was some backlash about the ending is because they were angry at us for breaking up with them. We were going off the air and they didn’t know what to do with their Sunday nights anymore. They wanted more, so they backlashed about that.
They wanted the pretty white people to ride off into the sunset together. By the way, it’s fiction. There’s dragons in it. Move on. [Laughs] No, but the show subverts what you think, and that’s what I love about it. Yeah, it was called Game of Thrones, but at the end, the whole dialogue when people would approach me on the street was, “Who’s going to be on the throne?” I don’t know why that was their takeaway because the show really was more than that.
The final season of Game of Thrones certainly subverted fan expectations, as Dinklage points out, whether it was Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) killing the Night King in lieu of Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys burning down King’s Landing after the city had surrendered, or Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) sitting atop the Iron Throne after all is said and done. Ending a critically-acclaimed and beloved series like Game of Thrones is always a tricky feat, as it’s nearly impossible to satisfy the entire fanbase. Dinklage’s recent comments are just the latest reminder of that.
Even though a vocal portion of the fanbase hated the ending, it hasn’t seemed to temper interest in the Game of Thrones universe at large. The prequel House of the Dragon is one of the most anticipated series of next year. More prequels, including a Dunk & Egg spinoff, are also in development. Hopefully, these upcoming shows (and their endings) fare better with the fanbase.